The early days of a relationship can be exciting and confusing. Sometimes, separating first date jitters from feelings of genuine unease about the potential partner can be difficult. In general, though, the signs of an untrustworthy partner reveal themselves pretty quickly. You just have to believe them when you see them.
It would be nice if dating sites included a trustworthiness rating along with height and eye color, for instance, but this is one trait that takes time to uncover. You have to take note of their behavior over the course of several dates to make sure this is a person who follows up on their word. It's a lot to consider when you're also in the process of figuring out whether your date is into the same foods or sports you like as well. Well, no one ever referred to the whole dating process as easy.
But for the most part, taking the time to make sure your partner is trustworthy will pay off so much over time. Being with someone who has your back and keeps their word is well worth all the effort. Because when you're with an untrustworthy partner, it can become an incredibly stressful and unfulfilling experience.
1. Badmouths All Exes
Take note if your date only shares disaster stories about previous partners. "There are two sides to each story. If your new love can’t tell you of any happy relationships or things they like about their exes [beware]," says Julie Fanning, owner & therapist at Holding Hope Services. "If every story has an ex that is 'crazy' or 'mental', there is a big chance that the problem in the relationship is your new love." It's likely you'll become another "crazy" ex at some point down the line.
2. Oversteps Boundaries
Too much attention is another potential red flag. "They call you all day at work because they miss you – even though you asked them not to because, well . . . you are at work," says Fanning. They may also invite themselves along to other social outings, or even try to rearrange your home. "This isn't loving," says Fanning. "This is controlling and will only increase as the relationship moves on." Pay attention to these boundary-breaking behaviors as soon as possible.
3. Promises To Leave Spouse
If no divorce is actually in progress, proceed with extreme caution. "As a therapist, I cannot count how many times someone has been in love with their new significant other who ends up going back to their spouse," says Fanning. You may be better off with a partner who is more available.
4. Charms You Immediately
Is this person almost too good at the whole dating thing? "A date who is not at all nervous, awkward and never at a loss for words, is impressive. A polished approach is very attractive and pleasant, but there could be a down side," says Tina B. Tessina, PhD, (aka Dr. Romance) psychotherapist and author of Dr. Romance's Guide to Finding Love Today. "It may indicate a professional dater who's been single a long time, dated a lot, and is very practiced." This isn't a bad thing if you're just looking to date around for a bit, and in fact you might have a blast with this pro dater. But if a more long-term relationship is in your sights, then this may not be the best match for you.
5. Gets Jealous Over Nothing
At first, minor displays of jealousy can feel like the other person is just really into you. "Jealousy can be flattering, especially if your date wants to be exclusive right away, but it may be emotional instability, and become a chronic lack of trust and suspicion," says Dr. Tessina. "Be careful of the too perfect lover." Relationships should only become exclusive once the time is right for both people.
6. Flakes On You
A good date will be respectful of your time and attention. "When your phone calls are not returned, your date is late a few times, or doesn't show up at all, you are not being respected," says Dr. Tessina. Chances are, this behavior will not improve over time.
7. Compares You To Ex
This kind of behavior gets irritating in a hurry. "It's OK and even good to discuss your past relationships and what you learned from them," says Melissa M. Snow, certified life coach. "However, if your new boyfriend is constantly saying things like I went here with Betty once, it was so much fun or if he keeps making comparisons between you and his ex, it's likely he is not over her and you are wasting your time." Even if your partner is favorably comparing you to the ex, it probably isn't a great sign. In general, it's worth taking a pass on someone who doesn't seem that trustworthy.